I don’t know if you can call Tarantino the best director of all time. He’s not even the most original director of all time. The man rips scenes and plot elements from many films and calls them tributes and homages. Let’s be realistic, most of the general movie audience won’t be able to pick up 95 percent of the references and nods he includes in his films. Until reading it, I thought Hattori Hanzo was an original character created by Tarantino, and I originally thought the final stand off involving the shadows in The House of Blue Leaves was amazing until I read it was a basic shot for shot copy of a scene in “Episode One.” Fans of Asian cinema have even claimed Tarantino remade “City of Fire” and simply renamed it “Reservoir Dogs.” Many film critics and knowledgeable film buffs have conceded that Tarantino does indeed fancy himself an auteur and blatantly pilfers obscure cult films and directors.
But the questions linger: Is there a certain line where an homage becomes outright plagiarism? And does plagiarism automatically devalue the artist behind it? Hell, even Tarantino has admitted to taking from other films to form his own stories and confesses to it proudly. And yet in spite of his self indulgence, egomania, and rather self-aggrandizing temperament the man is still a very popular filmmaker in Hollywood. What about the man appeals to even the most cynical cineaste? Is it his unabashed enthusiasm? His roots as a school drop out turned film fanatic? Or the fact that he knows how to competently structure stories?
Even in spite of the derivations and blatant plagiarism Tarantino is still very well loved and has even inspired College courses and dissertations and has prompted many to debate about what his true impact on film will be and whether or not he is still just a fad. His words and influence certainly are powerful in spite of his retractors, and his films continue to inspire many aspiring filmmakers. Being a casual fan myself, I thought with his recent success of “Inglourious Basterds” and his recent bid of respect for his roots by purchasing the ailing New Beverly Cinema, that it’d be interesting to look at the films he’s directed. The man certainly will leave a legacy behind him because in spite of lacking originality, he really knows how to make movies.